U.S. to Release 6,000 Inmates Under New Sentencing Guidelines

New York Times – by MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is preparing to release roughly 6,000 inmates from federal prison as part of an effort to ease overcrowding and roll back the harsh penalties given to nonviolent drug dealers in the 1980s and ’90s, according to federal law enforcement officials.

The release is scheduled to occur from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, and will be one of the largest one-time discharges of inmates from federal prisons in American history, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing matters that had not been publicly announced by the Justice Department.  

The Bureau of Prisons is arranging for many of the inmates to initially move into halfway houses, one official said.

In April, the United States Sentencing Commission created guidelines that reduced the penalties for many nonviolent drug crimes and made some of those changes retroactive. Officials said at the time that the move applied to at least 50,000 federal inmates sentenced under the previous guidelines.

The new guidelines were issued amid increasing support for an overhaul of sentencing. The United States has a quarter of the world’s prison population and both Republicans and Democrats agree that prison spending, which accounts for a third of the Justice Department’s budget, needs to be reduced. News of the prison release was first reported by The Washington Post.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are considering other ways to scale back the numbers of people who are facing lengthy stays in federal prison because of nonviolent drug crimes.

A bipartisan group of powerful senators last week proposed a broad overhaul of the existing system for imposing mandatory minimum sentences, urged on by President Obama and a coalition of activist groups that ranged from the far right to the far left.

The changes would be retroactive if the legislation is enacted, and lawmakers estimated that up to 6,500 prisoners — many of them charged with offenses related to crack cocaine — could qualify for resentencing under the changes.

6 thoughts on “U.S. to Release 6,000 Inmates Under New Sentencing Guidelines

  1. This gesture is better than nothing, but it’s still outrageous that anyone ever spends even a minute in prison for a consensual act or for hurting no one except possibly themselves.

    Either we own ourselves, or we are owned by other men. Drug laws are only acceptable to those who believe that we’re all government property.

    1. Yes….my guess is that they’re ALL illegals and this has nothing to do with any new sentencing guidelines. Obama wants his commie army out in the streets. They’re getting ready for war, too.

      I’ll bet that NO ONE who’s released is a white American.

  2. Just in time for Halloween. .. So when they knock on your door on Halloween. .. and there’s a dude in a one piece orange garbage man costume with flip flops..
    Slam the door shut as quickly as you can…!
    Otherwise….. you’re going to be their treat.

  3. All drug laws that don’t include driving or operating equipment are unconstitutional. How alcohol was made illegal earlier in US history is a mystery to me. The 9th Amendment protects the practice of cultural norms. The drinking habits of patriots and founders of America make us look like a bunch of Mormons.

    Voluntary racial segregation is also protected by the 9th Amendment. Unfortunately, Southerners who fought to preserve racial segregation of schools and communities in the 70’s didn’t know how to read.

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